Amore:Part 2

By: Bella Jewel


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


As always, my heartfelt thanks to every single blogger, reader and author that has supported my journey. From reading my books, to sharing them, to raving about them, to being there for me. Thank you. My career would be nothing without any of you.

A huge thanks to Kylie from Give Me Books for organizing my reveals and blitzes. You do such an amazing job. No matter how many times I use you, I am always blown away by how efficient you are. Nothing is ever a drama. Thank you for giving me so much support.

A massive thanks to Kellie from Book Cover By Design for this epic cover. It’s absolutely beautiful, and I couldn’t have imagined anything better. You got what I wanted, down to a T. Thank you.

To Lauren, my epic editor. You are the best thing since sliced bread, no lie. You seriously are the best person EVER to work with. You are quick and your notes always make me laugh. No one else could ever keep up with my writing pace, but you always nail it.

A big, heartfelt thanks to Rose from Read By Rose for this amazing proofread. You came in at the last moment and helped me in incredible ways. You’re truly epic and I can’t wait to work with you again.

And of course, to my admin, MJ, for ALWAYS keeping my page running beautifully. I couldn’t do it without you, girly. I love your teasers and your passion; thank you for taking the time out of your life to help this poor girl keep everything running.

And, last but certainly not least, to my loyal readers. To each and every one of you that picks up my books and give me a chance. To the reviews you write, good or bad. To the time you take to make me a better person. You make this real for me; never stop giving such love and passion. You make our journey so amazing.





DEDICATION


To all the believers.


Keep believing.





PROLOGUE


Cold sweat trickles down my forehead. My legs are up in stirrups. Mama stands beside me, clutching my hand. The lights blur my vision and my back aches. Everything in my body feels sore, tired, and worn out. I’m exhausted. I can’t stop. My eyes flick to my left. Mama is staring down at me, her mouth in a tight line, her eyes bloodshot. She’s tired, too.

“Keep going, Julietta,” the midwife calls to me, her hands at the ready.

“You’re going to be just fine,” Mama soothes, lifting her hand and rubbing a cool towel over my clammy forehead.

“Push!” yells the stout middle-aged midwife.

I bare down and push. Pain unlike anything I’ve ever felt in my entire life explodes through my body, clutching my mid-section like a vice. It hurts. It hurts so much. Probably as much as my numb and broken heart. I heave, spittle flying from my mouth. My screams echo through the room, but there is only one thought in my mind.

Please.

“Push,” she cries again.

Please.

God. Please.

“We have a head.”

Please.

“One more big push.”

Please.

The sound of a crackling baby scream fills the room, strong and healthy.

“Congratulations, Julietta. You have a baby . . .”

Girl.

Girl.

Please.

“Boy.”

My chest feels like it explodes and tears rush down my face. Pain and fear unlike anything I’ve ever felt lodges in my heart.

No. It can’t be.

A tiny, dark-haired bundle is placed on my chest and I stare down, seeing Rafael’s features. All him. All Italian. I reach for him with trembling fingers. My mom is sobbing beside me. Recently I found out that I’m not who I thought I was, but instead someone with blood so much more powerful. With this baby’s father who he is, that means I’ll spend the next eighteen years of my life doing everything I can to protect this little baby.

Because I just gave birth to the boy next in line to take over the Italian Mafia.

And they will come for him.





CHAPTER 1


“Don’t let him in here,” I say, my voice emotionless and broken.

My son sleeps beside me in a hard plastic crib. I can see through the sides. He’s wrapped in a plush blue blanket, dark hair popping out the top. He has so much hair. So much thick, Italian hair. Like his father. His father who doesn’t know about him. His father who stole my heart. His father who I have to plot against, not only for a monster, but for myself.

Speaking of that monster . . . I look at my mother. “Don’t, Mama.”

“You know I can’t stop him,” she says softly, her eyes sad and broken. Possibly more than mine.

After all, this is her fault. She slept with the monster standing outside and produced me, then proceeded to lie to me my entire life about it. Now he’s using that against me. He’s using her mistake against me. And she’s letting it happen. Like she’s too afraid to defend herself to him. Like if she steps up and guards her daughter, her world will come crashing down.

What about my world?

My child’s world?

“I need one more minute with my son,” I say, my voice icy, “before he comes in here and uses him in his sick and evil plan.”

“He won’t hurt the baby. He might be a savage, but—”

“Don’t,” I hiss.

“Julietta, please.”

Anger and hurt go to war in my chest and I hiss, “If you want to do something for me, Mama, you’re going to make him go the hell away and let me protect my son for a damned second longer!”